Mood🤷🏼‍♀️

I haven’t written in what seems like forever. Not sure I even want to post this. I’m coming off of a hard few years.  Ive learned I haven’t properly dealt with many things in my life and lately it’s finally catching up to me. I’m just plain wore out. 

I used to think that I was just lazy. I honestly began to think I was losing my mind. Now I’ve come to learn that Hypothyroidism has much to do with it, probably a touch of the lovely thing called menopause and maybe a smidge of unresolved grief.

In 2012 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. They started me on levothyroxine. I went faithfully to the dr every 3 weeks getting my levels checked to make sure I was on the correct dosage. In the fall of 2012 we moved up north to a new home, new job and new lifestyle. I felt great. So great in fact that I decided to stop taking my medicine cold turkey. I don’t recommend this. I had a new life insurance physical & my cholesterol had gone down significantly since the move, I lost weight, I was healthier. So I justified stopping my meds. 

Slowly as the years went by I started noticing different things. I felt lazy. I felt tired. I was irritable. I was always cold-always. My hair was falling out. My skin was dry. I was constipated. I went through mild bouts of depression. I had major mood swings. My body ached. I started to gain weight despite eating right. Extreme fatigue. Irregular heartbeats. Forgetful- I’d forget my damn head if it wasn’t attached. Brain fog. The list is endless. I just didn’t feel right. 

I thought I had the  faith to get through anything. It’s a very hard to cling to faith & believe when symptoms are becoming more present. It’s hard to ignore symptoms. Soon I found myself doubting. I let the feeling of the symptoms overcome my beliefs. That was probably my first mistake toward the endless path of not feeling better. 

So on the outside it would appear that I was lazy and had no ambition. On the inside I was fighting a battle no one understands unless you’ve experienced it. No one understood how I could fall asleep on the couch watching tv, go to bed and be asleep when my head hit the pillow and wake up exhausted. But then the next night I’d be wide awake and not be able to sleep at all-getting maybe two hours of sleep and not missing it. No one understands that I cannot explain why I feel like I’m crazy, why I’m not me, why I can’t “just change”, why I can’t just make up my mind to not be this way. I can’t. I can’t even make sense of it to myself-how can I make anyone else understand. It seems easy to sit back and say “Hello, you’re kinda wrecking your life here by how you’re acting, best change that.” But what happens when you KNOW things need to change but your mind won’t let you “figure it all out”?

This past fall of 2016 after watching my dear Gram go through many health issues I finally decided to go in for a physical. Against all I wanted to do or believed in I went. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt she was going to tell me it was my thyroid. 

What I didn’t expect was that I’d have an EKG that same day because she noticed heart palpitations, or that it would be abnormal. I didn’t expect that my potassium, magnesium, sodium and iron would all be off as well. I knew my thyroid levels would be off but no clue they’d be at almost 8. I had no clue I’d leave that day going from taking no pills to needing to buy a pill box. I had no clue I’d start that nasty trek of going to the dr every three weeks again to have my levels checked only to find that every time they’d still be off. And I certainly had not expected the toll it would all take on me emotionally. 

I’m still doctoring, doing labs and trying to manage my medications. Something is still way off. For a brief moment I started to feel better and then at my next lab appt things were off again. I’m feeling worse now than when this all started. My mood has taken such a nasty turn.  

It’s hard to feel. I want to feel but I just don’t. Funny that I actually WANTED this at one point. I was so tired of all the stress and crap I was going through that I actually wished for a day to just not feel. Well it happened. I hadn’t cried since December 7. The day of my Grams funeral. I couldn’t cry. Not a happy tear, sad tear, mad tear-nothing. Emotions of all sorts were absent. I was a flat line. Then one day I cried. Over what? No clue. Just a few tears came out. I still believe I have this HUGE reservoir of tears that are just waiting to come out.

I’ve been researching and have learned a lot about the treatment of hypothyroidism and that not all cases should be treated the same. That levothyroxine isn’t the end all be all. That “normal” levels do not mean “optimum” levels. That TSH testing is not the only test that should be done.  Also learning so many symptoms overlap each other. I don’t feel old enough to be dealing with menopause but I may as well wake up and realize it’s coming. 

 In the meantime, I try to get back on track-cut this, don’t eat that, try this, don’t do that….I await the day I get “normal” lab results and maybe some answers. So much expense- so annoying-

I do understand things could always be worse and people are battling far bigger things than I. If you managed to stick around through my little hissy fit I appreciate it and thank you! 

Just over it – peace
✌️

Emotionally spent

Here I sit, 12 days since my Gram passed away…unable to cry. I feel completely emotionless, blank, numb.

I’m the one who cries over absolutely everything-commercials on tv, seeing something moving in complete strangers, words to a song, fleeting thoughts—yet one of the most important people in my life has died and I can’t even make the tears come.  What is wrong with me????

I cried in the hospital as I watched my mom and aunt hold her hands as she took her last breath. I cried when my strong uncle grabbed me and hugged me and sobbed. To have my kids there right by my side. I cried with many people that night as we called and let them know what had happened. Then I left the hospital and didn’t shed a tear until the day of the funeral.

I didn’t go in right away to see her. Part of me had made my mind up that I wasn’t going to. I wanted to remember her in a different way. My mom told me that I would probably regret not seeing her, so eventually I did.

Surprisingly, I didn’t cry as much as I anticipated. I don’t know why. I was greeted by a cousin who said something to the tune of me being the one that was going to be really hard to see that day. There were about a half dozen people or so that when I saw them, they didn’t have to say a word and I cried. I cried during the service when they played the video clip I had on my phone of Gram playing her organ singing “Doodley Doo”. To hear her voice again, to see her smile again…..
Then just like that it was over and we were on our way back to my moms house. We talked on the way home about how it didn’t seem real. Mom said that for a second she thought she better call Gram when she gets home to tell her about today—-as if we hadn’t just been at her funeral and wanted to let her know how the day went. Strange.
And since that day-I…have…not…cried. I’ve experienced extreme pain as if my heart is actually breaking but that is as far as it goes.
I was baking Christmas cookies and listening to Christmas music. I’ll be home for Christmas came on. I got THEE most vivid vision that Gramp held his hand out to Gram and she stood and they danced. It was surreal. She stood and they danced-gazing into each others eyes, smiling-singing,as if they KNEW. that “she’d be home for Christmas”….. It was so real. Under normal circumstances the very THOUGHT of that would make me bawl…. just WRITING it would make me bawl. But I can’t… Why?
I feel horrible guilt for not being able to feel emotion through this. Someone soooo special to me….and I can’t cry. I feel that by not crying it is portraying that I don’t care. And I do-boy do I care!

I spoke with a cousin the other day and she had similar feelings- maybe it hadn’t hit her yet, or maybe she was just at such peace. I just don’t know. Gram wouldn’t want me feeling guilty. She’d want me rejoicing that she is free from all the health issues she had and is reunited with so many loved ones.
This feeling of being numb and blank is so foreign to me. I can’t cry- I’m snapping at things, having “who cares” moments, blocking people out, all of that and more, along with being incredibly thankful that I had the time with Gram that I did.
Wishing that if only I could have known this was going to happen I would have kept her living with us for a few months longer. In the back of my mind I always wondered if she would pass away while living with us. Was she at our house for a reason and was that to make her final months the best they could be for her? She loved it here and what better place for her be? But I can’t live in the “what ifs” or “hmmms” or “should we haves”.
I’m not intentionally being “unfeeling” I am just trying to get through this and figure it all out. It’s been a hell of a year-I love you Gram-more than you ever could have imagined-& Im certain that you will show up in ways that there will be no guessing its you. ❤️ And also, just as importantly I hope I find the old me again-I don’t care for this new one.

✌️

Hunting season eve


Well, it’s the evening before gun hunting here in Wisconsin.  Hunting is such an important part of my family’s life. The men in my immediate family prefer bow hunting over gun hunting by far, but there is something intriguing about this time of year.

 
Every year, religiously, I make “Papas chili”. Years ago when my husband was a child his dad made his special chili every hunting season and kept it in a huge metal pot warming on the space heater stove at the cabin. Some amazing memories were made there.

 
Once Mark and I started dating I got to partake in the tradition. To be totally honest I never cared for that chili. Mostly because they made it with venison😷. I didn’t grow up on venison so I didn’t care for it. Who knew I would soon grow to love it (made with beef of course) & actually crave it?!

 
Once we had kids we started bringing them to the cabin for lunch during hunting season. Papas chili was a hit. It was there that my son Austin would proudly wear his blaze orange that was adorned with his dad’s previous years back tags. He had quite a collection. He would stand next to the railing on the deck barely able to see over it resting his chin on his crossed arms just dreaming of the day he’d be big enough to go hunting himself.

My daughter Sam would also come to the cabin and sometimes bring her friends. They would sport the very fashionable plastic blaze orange vests and caps. I don’t think hunting was on her mind as much as just getting to the cabin to have fun.  Although she did prove to be quite the shooter once she decided she wanted to hunt. I say shooter, not hunter because she didn’t care to sit long and it rarely took more than an hour or so before her deer came in and she dropped it right in its tracks.

Opening day was and still is exciting to me. As soon as the guys would leave to go to the woods I would crack open the window a bit, no matter how cold-and sit with my coffee and just wait to hear the first gunshots. It was always very hard to tell which direction they came from. I’m directionally challenged the way it is and echoes didn’t help. But I always knew if it was coming from one of my family on our property. Then I would hear the four wheeler engine coming through the woods. I knew someone got one then!

 
To this day on opening day I still patiently wait and listen. It can be very bittersweet because now it is just myself and my husband . My kids are grown and on their own. They each go in their own direction and I still worry about them and their safety. Not everyone is careful out there. Not everyone was taught right from wrong. Not everyone was educated to do the right thing. Not everyone plays safe. But in the end I trust that all will be fine.

 
I await the day when our grandson Connor may be the little one excited to go hunting, or maybe he won’t want anything to do with it. He’s an animal lover for sure, but also a growing boy that could sure help provide for his family someday.

 
At any rate, I pray each hunter is safe and that there is a hedge of protection around each one.  Happy hunting!

✌️

Happy birthday Mom! 🎈


Happy birthday Mom! 🎉To the woman who always puts everyone’s needs ahead of her own. Some call that enabling. I say there are far worse things. I will justify my enabling to the very end, whether it is right or wrong. The apple doesn’t fall far. There’s nothing I won’t do for my family and I had to learn that someplace. I didn’t learn to be selfish, I learned to take care of people. I enjoy taking care of people,  I think she does too. Maybe the biggest downfall is continuing to do so while occasionally getting taken advantage of. But we press on and the next time someone wants or needs something we’re there.

 
My mom is the first one to bring yummy baked goods to any and every occasion/non-occasion. She loves to bake, is truly amazing at it and loves to just drop off goodies for no special reason at all. I truly believe this will be part of her legacy. Her love comes through in her baking. God sure has blessed her to be an amazing baker! People aren’t kidding when they say people love through food.

 
My mom will do anything for anyone. She really does have a big heart, although she doesn’t share it freely. There’s a tough outer layer that must be broken through first. She’s usually the first on the scene for urgent matters, and the one who sticks it out for the long haul and sees things through til they are finished. She may not always show that emotional, soft side-but trust me, it’s there. Being a grandma has softened her.

 
I may not always act like it or say it as much as I should but I am very thankful for her. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to learn so much from her through good and hard times. Ive been taught some pretty great life skills, and hard times taught me that we all have times when we could do better and to never stop trying to do just that.

 
My mom taught me at a young age to be hospitable, maybe not even through telling me but showing me.  To help clear the table at family functions and help with dishes even the other kids (even some adults) would run off.
She taught me that yes, chips and dip & Coke make perfectly suitable meals when you’re having a bachelorette weekend.

 
She taught me the wealth of knowing how to take anything in your kitchen and turn it into a meal. So now I’m known from my hubby as the woman who could feed 50 with a potato and a hot dog.

 
It’s my dream and goal of mine to be able to take my mom on a vacation someday. A vacation where we actually have to get on a plane and leave town. She will never do that for herself. To a place where she can feel what it’s like to just let loose and have fun.

 
She taught me last but not least, that no matter what hand life deals you, to put on whatever face you need to & you will make it. There’s ups and downs all along the way but you–will–make it. That the good far outweighs the bad. So here’s to you Mom! Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day! 💞

✌🏻

Who am I 

When you lose …you

If someone were to ask you “Who are you?” How would you respond? This question has haunted me for a long, long time, because I do not know-who…I…am.

I’m sure when put on the spot I would casually say, “Well, I’m Missy. I’m Mark’s wife, Sam & Austins mom, Connors grandma.” Then I am sure you’d say, “Yes you are all of those things, but WHO…ARE…YOU?

I’d probably say something like, “Well, I’m a wife, a mom, a grandma….” You’d stop me and say, “NO… who are you?”

I’d say, “I love to cook and bake, I love to help people. I’m sometimes a people person, sometimes a loner…” You’d say, “I did not ask you what you do, I asked you WHO-ARE-YOU???
I’d probably stare blankly at you now, because the answer to that question is one I do not know. Even writing this I struggle with the answer. I stress over the fact that if anyone were to ever REALLY ask me that question, it’s scary to say I STILL won’t know how to answer.

How do I find the answer? Can anyone really answer that question? And if they can…why can’t I? Where lies the answer to this deep question? Then, out of no where into my mind pops the song “Who am I” by Casting Crowns. God hears us, He hears our cries, He knows exactly what we need-exactly when we need it.

It lies where I knew it lied all along. I guess I don’t really need to know the answer, who am I? Because God knows who I am. That needs to be good enough for me.  Just breathe…

✌️️

Interview with my 90 year old Gram ❤️

I’ve had the privilege of spending the last few months with my 90-year-old gram. Her husband, my grandpa passed away suddenly leaving her whole world turned upside down. Many, many changes are happening in her life right now and it made me sit and think about her 90 years of life and how things are so different now than they were when she was younger. It made me think that I should utilize this time that I have with her and continue learning more and more about this  amazing & remarkable  woman. I decided one day to sit down and just do a little interview with my 90-year-old Gram. I never get tired of hearing her stories and this gave me an opportunity to go a little bit deeper and to learn more about what life has been like for her over so many decades. Sitting here  over tomato soup and lemon pie, reminiscing. I ask a series of questions that spark hours of conversation. 

What was daily life like for you growing up?

We played outside all the time. We were always playing ball. We played til we got called inside. In the winter we went skiing & on toboggans. In the summer we swam in the  many lakes that surrounded us. We swam right with the cows and the cowshit.  We didn’t have many chores. I was the one who usually milked our 1 cow, we only had one. We took turns with setting the table, clearing the table & wiping dishes. No one really helped my Mother cook. Every night she cooked a big meal, usually a roast, mashed potatoes & gravy, vegetables from the garden & always a dessert. Every Sunday we had chicken dinner. My Mother would chop their heads off, dip them in boiling water and pluck the feathers. My Dad was always busy doing something. He was a hard worker. He made wooden horses for little kids. He never sat still.  My Mother & Dad were always on the same page. We never did get spanked. We just KNEW when my Dad gave us “the look” that he meant business. 

What were your parents like?

They loved to dance, we all did. They weren’t very lovey in front of us kids but they sure must have been lovey because they had 6 kids! They were hard working people and very respected. My Mother was a great baker often times baking 6 loaves of bread each time. I remember one time seeing my Dad pinch my Mothers boob, right on the side and all she said was Kenneth! You cut that out! They gave us advice daily. Mostly -don’t smoke. We all smoked. Haha. My Dads sister smoked like a chimney and we thought she was soooo cool. 

What kind of clothing did you wear?

My Mother sewed skirts for us with a nice band around them. We always wore dresses or skirts with blouses. NEVER jeans, people might think we were farmers then ! 😂😂😂

What was your favorite music?

We were all musical. Delores and I played piano, everyone sat around us and sang. I loved to play hymns. But I really loved rock music. Later I loved the Beatles, Elvis, & The Beach Boys. 

What were holidays like?

Holidays were HUGE celebrations! We always got lots of presents. I remember one Christmas I got 17 dolls!!! I was probably 4-5 years old. Some of them cried. I remember taking them apart to see how they worked. We always had a lot of family that bought us gifts. We were very spoiled. Birthday parties were pretty much like holidays. Big meals and lots of presents. 

I asked my Gram what the holiday meals were like if her Mother made huge meals on a normal basis. She said they were just bigger and more

What were some of your favorite foods?

I liked everything. I wasn’t picky. My Mother was a good cook. Delores didnt like potatoes. There was a place under our table where she used to hide them. My Dad didn’t like carrots but he ate them and always told us to eat them too. Betty’s husband later introduced us to krub, he was Norwegian. It’s still a family favorite!

Did you ever get in trouble?

We were all pretty good kids. One time I came home and I really wanted to go to Richardson to the dance hall so I took my Dads car that he used for the mail route. The keys must have been in there. Well my Dad found out and he came right to that dance hall. I was smoking and drinking. I quickly stomped out my cigarette when I saw my Dad. My Mother said “Boy, are you going to get it.” My Dad had ink that was to be delivered to the school and he had kept it in the car so it wouldn’t freeze, and I had the car. The tires also had chains on them and I drove the entire way on pavement. I didn’t know. (😂)

Another time I was at the Rutabaga fest in Cumberland with my Mother and my Aunt Alice  and her baby. I decided I wanted to go to Almena to see my boyfriend, so I took the car. They must have ALWAYS kept those keys in there! (Haha.) I saw the time and had to hurry back so I was driving very fast. I heard a click, click, click…I blew a rod, but didn’t get in trouble because my Dad blamed it on the person who changed the oil.( Haha) My Mother was mad though, because the baby was crying and they wanted to sit in the car with her and the car was gone. 

One time we had planned a skip day in high school.  There were 70 kids in my class but only 7 skipped and I was one of them. The principal told some of the kids to find the people who skipped and tell them they had so much time to get back to school or they’d be expelled. He didn’t mess around! He called me in his office and asked why I skipped. I told him EVERYONE was going to skip not just me. He then asked me if EVERYONE jumped off a bridge would I? Haha. He then told me he’d inform my Mother & Dad about this. He did, they didn’t care. One girl got in a lot of trouble, probably beat, but my Mother and Dad just acted like la-de-da. 

What age were you allowed to date?
We always dated in groups. No one told us we could or couldn’t date, we just did. We didn’t have a chaperone, our parents trusted us. We never really got in trouble.

What was your favorite decade?

I would have to say 15-25. I LOVED my teen years. Probably because I could drive…. FAST!

What invention had the most impact on your life?

We never had  a telephone, so I’m not sure how all those boys could call and ask me out, maybe they drove to my house and just asked. We were the only house in our neighborhood who had electricity and running water. We were rich!(😂 haha) I guess I would say tv. That was really something when we got a tv! Oh and cars, because I love to drive! FAST!

Do you have any regrets?

I wish I could go back and help my Mother more. She worked so hard and we didnt help her as much as we should have. 

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned and what advice would you give to young adults these days?

Be kind. To everyone. Our family was raised to be kind and we were. Be kind. 

I had so much fun listening to Grams stories! I couldn’t let this opportunity pass to put down in writing the things we all think we will remember and seldom do. Today will be a day that goes down as one of the most memorable days I’ve had! 

(This all ended with, “What are you asking me all this for? You’re writing a story aren’t you? I could go to jail!” Haha Never a dull moment! 

✌️



Oh Kenny, the things you make me think…

Today as we sat eating supper (my Gram says calling it dinner is for the  “rich folk”-unless it’s Sunday, then it’s dinner)haha- but as we sat eating supper we started having a conversation about our earliest memories. 

Let me rewind a bit. My Gram has been staying with us this entire month after the passing of my grandpa. Yesterday on the radio Kenny Chesneys song “Don’t Blink” came on. That dang Kenny gets me every time. I’ve written about it before-first your kids are little then all grown with their own, don’t blink, getting poured a glass of milk instead of whiskey, that’s the good stuff, there goes my life, but now that little girl is my whole life, Dangit Kenny! You always make me cry. Oh and want to plant my toes in the water & patoot in the sand and maybe dream about having a beer down in Mexico.

Anyhoo…. I hear the lyrics “a hundred years goes faster than you think, don’t blink”. I was sitting next to my Gram and thought, “Man, she’s 90, I wonder if she’d say it went faster than she thought.” It made me think of how much has changed in her 90 years of life. Then made me wonder to myself what her earliest memory was. She told me it was walking with her dad and she was smarting off, he squeezed her hand and shook it-never said a word, never hollered and it was at that point she knew he meant business and all he had to do was give her a look and she knew she better behave. She figures she was maybe 5 years old. Wow, to remember something some 85 years ago so clearly. 

This made me think of mine. After much brain racking, a few messages and a long phone call to my mom I’ve gotten it narrowed down to around age 3. This was when that nasty mean neighbor boy pushed me down on the sidewalk and split my chin open. I don’t actually remember it happening but I remember the sidewalk and what the house looked like that we lived in. 

That whole conversation sparked so many memories and names of people I’d forgotten about, places we lived, things we did. Flashback for sure. It’s funny the things we remember. The things that stick out to us. 

I hope when I’m 90 ( if I’m blessed enough to make it that long) I have the same recollections as my Gram. I hope I never lose the ability to tell a good story, to make people laugh at all the crazy things that happened to me throughout my life. 

May I appreciate all moments in time, whether good or bad because you don’t get those moments back to redo how you’d handle them. You do the best you can with each day you are given and at the end of it you pat yourself on the back and say way to go, you made it!  With any luck you will have an abundance of wild tales & words of wisdom  to tell your grandkids someday.

✌️